Ellada Evangelou Executive and Artistic Director

Ellada was born and raised in Cyprus. She has studied in Cyprus and the United States (BA in English, MFA in Dramaturgy, PhD in Theatre Studies / Cultural Studies). She has worked as a dramaturge, theatre director, workshop facilitator and independent consultant, in collaboration with theatre companies, NGOs and international organisations. She is interested in the relationship between theatre/dramaturgy and identity, and works in the intersection of aRtivism and scholarship in post-colonial, post-conflict communities. She is co-founder of Rooftop Theatre, member of the Leadership Circle of the IMPACT Project and a 2020 Global Fellow of the International Society for the Performing Arts. She was the Artistic and Executive Director of the Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival 2019 and 2020, and is happy to be back for Buffer Fringe 2021.


Maria Varnakkidou | Creative Director

Maria Varnakkidou studied Modern Drama at Brunel University and then completed her Master’s Degree in Theatre Directing at Royal Holloway University in the UK. She has directed the devised theatre performances “ROUTES” (2019), “RAM” (2018) and the performance “IN-decent” (2017). In 2015 she co-directed the devised theatre performance “The Gaze”. In 2012 she curated and directed the exhibition-performance “Vagina Monologues”. She collaborated as a co-writer, in the feature film “Impressions of Drowned man,” which premiered at the official competition of IFF Rotterdam 2015. She has also worked as an actress and an assistant director. She taught several theatre workshops in Cyprus and London. As well as, worked as theatre facilitator in several Erasmus+ projects. Maria Varnakkidou was part of Buffer Fringe 2019 team as a mentee, working closely with the Artistic Director. This is her second year as one of the two Creative Directors in the organization of Buffer Fringe. 


 Nihal Soğancı (H4C) | Creative Director

Nihal Soğancı is part of the Home for Cooperation team and is currently continuing her PhD in Social Anthropology at the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens. Her ethnographic research mainly questions how displaced people of North Cyprus collage and montage a home in the post 2003 period as well as on how creative tactical forms and artistic imagination help with peacebuilding. Nihal is a writing a chapter in the book Documenting displacement: Inter-disciplinary methodologies in forced migration research, an edited volume by Katarzyna Grabska and Christina Clark-Kazak. Titling the chapter Memories, stories and material traces: Exploring displacement through collaging and participatory art installation, she aims to understand the experience of displacement and to provide a space where participants can critically and creatively question and understand their experiences. She holds an MSc in International Public Policy with a particular focus on Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation from University College London (UCL) and BA in Languages and Translation majoring in French from the University of Surrey, UK. She has participated in the Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival in Nicosia in 2019 with an interactive installation: The Affective Garage: A collective Junction. She joined the creative team in 2020 as a Creative Director. 



Zoe Kakota | Technical and Production Director

Zoe was born and raised in Nicosia. She has studied Fashion Design at Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan, Italy. She has worked as a financial officer, project manager in various European projects, light technician (Sound-Lights-Multimedia) in theatre productions and production manager in performances and the International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama. Zoe is also an active volunteer in the HIV/AIDS field for more than 25 years.


Diomedes Koufteros | Outreach and Communications Coordinator

Diomedes Koufteros is a theatre actor and director. He has taught at Bowdoin College (Maine, USA) as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater (Theater for Social Change) and University of Nicosia (Cyprus) as part-time faculty (Gender, Culture, Politics of the Body); has worked as an expert in Arts and Culture for the European Commission’s Creative Europe funding program; and was the artistic director for Greater Nicosia 2021, Nicosia’s bid for the European Youth Capital. Diomedes is the founding director of Campos Culture and Arts, an emerging not-for-profit organization focusing on projects relating to interdisciplinary performance, peacebuilding and social impact, as well as, innovation and entrepreneurship within the Cultural and Creative Sector.



Cemil Bayhanli | Technical Director

Cemil is a sound engineer and a musician with experience in live and studio sound engineering and live performances mainly playing electric guitar. He is also the founder of JMYL Sound Engineering company where he actively sets up portable audio systems for events and festivals. He has co-organised festivals (Electric Cicadas) for three consecutive years to fund the building of rain water collection facilities in order to preserve the nature in Cyprus. While organising the festivals, he has undertaken roles such as, logistics, promoting, planning and setup of the event and was responsible for the technical requirements. He also has work experience in EU funded projects such as EU Info Point and Civic Space. 




Thanks to the valuable partnership with IMPACT [insert link], the festival implements for a second year the “Thinking Partners” program, which entails the targeted matching of the participating artists with a Thinking Partner, an individual with an advisory role, who will work in close contact with the artists to generate critical discussion around the artistic practice itself and the ACCT field in general. Thus, the Thinking Partner will enhance the artists’ conceptual and/or creative process, by offering new, distinctive perspectives and ideas, and by further connecting them to the ACCT ecosystem. This cooperation and exchange of ideas aims to bridge any gaps within the artist groups (in collaborative work), and between the arts and other fields.

Read more: 

“Thinking Partners” at the Buffer Fringe in Cyprus/A Collaboration with IMPACT (Imagining Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation)

by Germaine Ingram



Gülgün Kayim

Gülgün has worked for 28 years in the fields of public art and location-based performance as an artist, arts administrator and curator. She is based in the United States and currently directs the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy in the City of Minneapolis where she researches the role of narrative in the built environment with a focus on socially engaged creative practices, contested landscapes, urban planning and economic development. Gülgün’s creative work has been presented in the US, Russia, Cyprus and the UK and recognized through a number of local, national and international fellowships, awards and grants. Gülgün will be working on the project 95 Stops/Mapping the Space Between Us.


Stelios Kallinikou

Stelios Kallinikou’s (b.1985, Limassol CY) practice intersects space & place, time & history, as manifestations of multiple interweaving discourses of meaning. His work has been presented at Kunsthalle Baden Baden; Grey Noise, Dudai ; Phenomenon, Αnafi, Greece; Nimac, Nicosia, Cyprus; Foam, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany; Point Centre of Contemporary art in Nicosia, Cyprus; Equilibrists, organised by the New Museum, New York and the DESTE Foundation, Athens, Greece (2016). He is the co-founder of Thkio Ppalies Project Space, based in Nicosia, Cyprus. Stelios will be working with Yeji Yeon on the project Restless Spirits.


Sofronis Sofroniou

Sofronis Sofroniou was born in Palechori, Cyprus. He studied Psychology at the University of Cyprus and Neuroscience at the City University of New York. He worked as a researcher at Mount Sinai Hospital, Department of Neurology. His first novel, The Progenitors (Rodakio), received the National Award of Literature in Cyprus and the Best Newcomer Novelist Award from the Hellenic Authors’ Society (2016). The book has been translated in Turkish (Istos, Istabul, 2020). His second novel, Crude Iron, was published by Antipodes. Excerpts have been published by Princeton’s University Translation Magazine (Inventory, 2019). Translations in French (Editions Zulma)S, German and Italian are currently in process. His work explores the themes of free will, responsibility, memory and time. Sofronis will be working with artist duo K&A on the project 8102.


Anastasis Sarakatsanos

Anastasis Sarakatsanos was born in Athens, Greece. He studied music and cultural anthropology in Greece and the UK. He has worked in theatre, film and TV as musician, composer, researcher and coach. Since 2015 he lives in Amsterdam where he works at Mezrab, Europe’s biggest storytelling stage, as events curator and host. Anastasis will be working with artist Twenty Three on The Serpent's Egg Deconstruction. 



Gürgenç Korkmazel

Gürgenç Korkmazel, 1969 Paphos born poet, writer, translator. Since 1992 he has published six poetry, three short story collections. He has prepared Anthology of Greek Cypriot Poetry, and Anthology of Turkish Cypriot Short Story. Also, he has translated the poems of Taner Baybars, John Clare and Lawrence Durrell. His books have been published in Nicosia, Istanbul and Athens. His poems and short stories have been translated into many languages. Gürgenç will be working on the project Rehearsing the Revolution – Common Ground Dialogue Cyprus.


 2021 INTERNS 



 Mary Spyrou | Intern

As a child, Mary lived in different countries all over the world: Cyprus, Greece, America and Brazil. Living in a different environment every now and then, helped Mary to discover her passion for theatre and express herself on stage. Her passion prompted Mary to study acting and she has recently graduated from the University of Essex with a BA in Drama. Her hobbies include writing, playing music (piano and flute) and playing volleyball. Right after she was awarded her Bachelor’s degree, Mary decided to make a pause from her studies, engage in volunteering programs. Mary’s volunteering interests focus on children’s education, welfare and on bringing people together through close collaboration. Mary is a returning intern, having worked also on during Buffer Fringe 2020!


Theodora Andarti | Intern

Theodora is a freelance illustrator. She is involved in international artistic collaboration projects and online publications. She loves storytelling through art and taking care of rescue cats.

Among other things, she is the creator of The Adventure of Buffer Fringe, a 10-part cartoon series presented on Buffer Fringe social media!


Maria Andreou | Intern

Maria Andreou is a visual artist and knowledge-driven person. Her practice is research-oriented and deals with themes such as the processes of subjectification and instrumentalisation of language in geopolitical agendas, deep time versus human time as well as ancient writing and landscape as geopoetics. She is currently finishing her MA in Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art at Aalto University, Finland. 


Panayiota Zintili Intern

Panayiota is a student of Social Anthropology. She is involved in social movements and activist performances. She loves creative writing, social research and art.